The Philadelphia Eleven film secures a matching grant of $100,000 from The DeBoccles Foundation

Time Travel Productions LLC
Posted Mar 20, 2023

This image from the documentary film, The Philadelphia Eleven, shows the eleven women who were ordained as priests on July 29th, 1974. Photo credit: Nikki Bramley

A matching grant of $100,000 has been secured from The DeBoccles Foundation to help finish the feature documentary film, The Philadelphia Eleven.

“The DeBoccles Foundation stepped up at just the right time to ensure we can start showing the film and engaging in the important conversations that will follow each screening,” said the Rev. Cynthia Black of the Film Funders Circle, a group of lay women and clergy who are working to raise funds to finish the film.

The Philadelphia Eleven film tells the story of the brave women who dared to get ordained as priests at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia in 1974. After eight years of production, the film will be ready to release as soon as the remaining production funds are raised.

The film’s trailer premiered at the Episcopal Parish Network conference in early March. It is now available to the public by visiting the online campaign in honor of Women’s History Month.

A number of bishops have joined the effort to raise the necessary funds to finish the film. Bishop Jennifer Reddall sent out this statement to the mailing list of the Diocese of Arizona.

“The 50th Anniversary is just around the corner. It is crucial to reflect on our past in order to plan for our future,” observed Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett, author of Looking Forward Looking Backward: Forty Years of Women’s Ordination.

The immediate fund-raising goal will enable the filmmakers to begin the process of ordering expensive archival footage and then start booking screenings for the fall, in anticipation of the 50th Anniversary of the groundbreaking ordinations.

Donations of all sizes are welcome and will be matched up to $100,000. Churches are invited to pre-purchase a screening license, which comes with a copy of the film, film poster, and suggested discussion questions. The requested donation to reserve a screening is $500 – $10,000. This sliding scale is meant to accommodate parishes of all sizes and resources. Simply donate to the online campaign at the appropriate level to reserve your screening.

Questions? Use the contact us form on the film’s website to connect directly with the film team.